There’s been a lot of talk about the 47 MILLION uninsured in America today. The question is WHY are they uninsured? Some are illegal. Some want insurance but can’t afford it. Some have pre-existing conditions and no insurance company wants to take a loss by insuring them. An estimated 15 million are uninsured by choice.
I fall into the uninsured-by-choice group. As a fairly young, reasonably healthy, artist/actress/clown who favors holistic medicine and whose experience with most conventional doctors has been either “take this antibiotic” (which almost always causes a bad reaction and – in my view- isn’t usually neccessary) or ” rest and drink fluids”; I have no use for health insurance – unless it’s just to cover the off chance of my getting cancer or hit by a bus.
There have been times I’ve carried insurance for the sake of my mother’s peace of mind – but, as much as I love my mom, that isn’t enough to justify the cost. My HIP doctor, who would blithely show up 4 hours late, was not equal to the task of curing his own sinus infections. He prescribed antibiotics and a steroid nasal spray that I didn’t really feel comfortable using. I brought up a book I’d been reading on holistic ways of treating sinus infections (some of which I had already been using with some improvement) and he immediately dismissed the techniques recommended and told me it was a condition I’d just have to deal with for the rest of my life – as he did. Then he revealed his philosophy “medicine can only do so much, faith healers actually get better results…”
My efforts to replace him were futile. Going through the fat book of doctors I supposedly had to choose from, each one I called was either out of business or no longer accepted my insurance. (which cost more than $400 a month) When I’ve been able to actually choose my own doctor – I’ve gotten great results.
My mom has haunted me with the specter of financial ruin as a result of some sudden medical catastrophe – but that just makes me ticked that I don’t have the option of buying high deductible catastrophe insurance (as I used to get in Colorado for $50 a month). I’m far more interested in the certain financial strain (or at least waste) and opportunity costs of carrying insurance. Not carrying health insurance for 5 years saved me $20,000. That’s a lot of money for a clown.
Buying health insurance for the next ten years – buying the cheapest currently available to me in NY, even with a small business owners discount would cost me $40,000. That’s a down payment on a HOUSE.
I’d rather have the house and/or the freedom that comes with streamlined expenses and/or new headshots and/or the financial freedom to turn down work so I can have time free for auditions and/or clothes that are halfway stylish,etc., etc., etc. President Obama may think I don’t need any of these things and that I absolutely need to have health insurance.
I beg to differ and – this being America – I should have the freedom to make that choice for myself.